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Eagleton polls state residents about New Jersey Transit

The Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) asked state residents how New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) funding and operations should continue amid a looming budget crisis.  – Photo by Van2005ko / Wikimedia

A recent Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) found that majority of New Jersey residents either strongly or somewhat support state funding for New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), according to a press release.

"With ridership not yet back at pre-pandemic levels and with riders accustomed to no fare increases in the last eight years, most New Jerseyans place the onus on the state government to keep NJ Transit afloat," said Ashley Koning, the director of the ECIP.

The poll found that state residents surveyed would rather have the state provide funds to support NJ Transit's budgetary issues. Approximately 78 percent of residents surveyed said they oppose cuts to bus and rail service, and approximately 67 percent said they are against raising fares to help the agency’s budget.

"While Republicans are the most opposed and most divided of any demographic group, Democrats are the most supportive of increasing direct state aid to stabilize NJ Transit’s budget," said Jessica Roman, a research associate at ECPIP. The poll, conducted during the Spring 2023 semester, comes as NJ Transit faces mounting scrutiny by the public and its employees over its financial decisions.

The state transportation agency recently approved a new budget that could lead to financial shortfalls and massive losses for the agency by the end of the decade.

Additionally, the agency is currently in a labor dispute with its unionized locomotive engineers who will be participating in a strike authorization vote throughout this month.

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